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Star Entertainment profit hit by fall in VIP spending

Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group posted an 8.4 percent annual drop in profit, amid a fall in VIP gaming revenue. 

On Friday, the group said it saw net profit after tax of $224 million. VIP turnover was $42.4 billion, down 30.7 percent year-on-year.

Star Entertainment chief executive officer told Reuters that high-stakes gamblers were unwilling to take big risks amid the U.S.-China trade dispute. 

On the domestic market front, the company said it saw “solid” domestic gaming growth, supported by market share gains at Gold Coast and Brisbane, and tables revenue growth of 4 percent, though chairman John O’Neill said this was not enough to offset declines in their international VIP business, which was impacted by weaker market conditions. 

The company did note that VIP volumes have seen an uptick since July, but said it is too short of a time to give a comparison.

Looking ahead, Matt Bekier said that management will be focused on driving visitation and earnings. 

"The group remains focused on executing our long-standing strategy of investing to drive visitation and earnings to our network of properties in sought-after destinations," he said.

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